Intense hailstorm hits Rajouri district, Jammu and Kashmir, killing over 110 animals

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Heavy rains and hailstorm hit Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, India, on May 9, 2018, trapping 10 families of a nomadic tribe on hills in the Thanamandi area and killing over 110 animals, mostly sheep and goats. The state government also said that standing crops spread over 100 hectares and over a dozen orchards were damaged.

The state administration launched a major operation to rescue the families trapped in the higher reaches of the area, District Development Commissioner (DDC), Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said, according to United News of India. All the members of the trapped Gujjar and Bakerwal tribes escaped unhurt and were subsequently rescued in a night-long operation.

There was no immediate report of any casualties, but over 110 small animals, mostly sheep, and goats, were killed in the hailstorm and rain, Choudhary said.

He added that an immediate amount of 300 000 Indian rupees (Rs 3 lakh) was sanctioned for assistance to the affected families. and another amount of 400 000 rupees (Rs 4 Lakh) was sanctioned for compensation of livestock killed, according to Business Standard via Press Trust India.

Preliminary reports by various teams deputed for assessment of losses to private property in various sectors, including agriculture, horticulture, and fisheries as well as public infrastructure, the officials said standing crops spread over 100 hectares and a dozen orchards suffered extensive damages in the natural calamity.

Roads and water supply lines, as well as power lines, were snapped and restoration work has been started by various departments.

Featured image: Jammu and Kashmir hailstorm on May 9, 2018

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